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‚??It is a small world,‚?Ě many say. In the past decade, because of the development of new communication technologies, our world became even smaller. In my opinion, the biggest ‚??culprits‚?Ě behind this shrinking phenomenon and the largest contributors to the advancement of communication technologies today are the ‚??Smart phones‚?Ě promoted by Apple, Windows, Intel, Motorola, Verizon, T-Mobile and other well-known service providers and software developers. These phones facilitated online interaction by making it accessible virtually anywhere, and their introduction into the market sped up the pace of communication between people, businesses, financial centers, and media.
While the history of ‚??Smart phones‚?Ě stretches as far back as 1992 with the development of a concept phone, the IBM Simon, it is only since 2007 and the development of the first iPhone by Apple, Inc. that smart phones began to aggressively graze the shelves of electronics stores everywhere. Now, just a few years later, smart phones are claimed to be a necessity by many and act as portable computers.
Popular models of Smart Phones such as iPhones and Android phones that are being sold now, in 2011, often operate using the 3G or the 4G network, making internet access available practically anywhere. GPS, navigational websites, e-mails, planners, encyclopedias, music players and more are now all sealed in the 2 inch by 4 inch phones carried in people‚??s pockets.
Naturally, the aforementioned list of qualifications of the Smart Phone drastically changed the way people communicate. Whereas a few years back, people had to wait several hours and sometimes days to receive responses to their e-mails, now e-mail communication is often a matter of minutes. Smart Phones are often registered to the users‚?? e-mail accounts, so the owners of these contraptions get notified about incoming e-mails immediately. This seemingly small improvement actually had a huge impact on the business world, because the businessmen and businesswomen who were previously confined to their desks in need of internet access because of incoming e-mails can now travel to different locations and operate their industries at the same time.
In fact, the Smart Phone ‚??revolution‚?Ě was so overpowering that even financial giants such as Chase, Bank of America and others adapted mobile banking systems, allowing customers to pay bills and manage their finances while taking a bus to the city. Now, a member of the Chase banking system can make a deposit and make sure that the deposit is reflected on his/her account immediately by interacting with his/her Chase account on the Smart Phone. Not only does this facilitate the customer-to-bank interaction, but it also gives customers a greater level of flexibility in terms of their schedules, so now banking is no longer a matter of ‚??finding time‚?Ě.
While businesses and banking were clearly impacted by the introduction of Smart Phones into the market, Smart Phones also had a great effect on people‚??s social interactions. These phones run applications that allow instantaneous access to social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, so information which before the creation of Smart Phones was only available at home or at the office is now at a palm of the user‚??s hand. While such availability of resources negatively impacted the scope of privacy that people have on the internet, it permitted faster communication between people. In fact, ever since Smart Phones became widely used by the general public, Facebook and Twitter had more ‚??Status Updates‚?Ě indicating users‚?? locations and activities in real-time, making people easier to locate and connect with.
Because of the way people comment on Facebook and Twitter in real-time, using Smart Phones, radio shows on NPR such as Science Friday, for example, make use of social networking software to publicize information during live-radio shows and receive real-time responses by the public. Many radio and TV stations take advantage of this real-time interaction to interest listeners and viewers in the content of the shows by letting the public express its opinion on the subjects discussed on air.
Not only did the Smart Phones stimulate the banking, entertainment, and media industries, but they also provided a new open field of opportunities for software developers. For example, Microsoft and Apple IOS continuously work on improving the operating systems of the Smart Phones while many private developers indulge in creating applications for Smart Phones which can be later sold in the ‚??App Market‚?Ě for Smart Phones. Essentially, invention of Smart Phones was fully joined with the invention of a new multi-million virtual market.
Certainly, while many positive outcomes resulted in the field of communication from the creation and growth of the Smart Phone industry, no argument should be one-sided. Smart phones eliminated a degree of privacy that was earlier available to people. As the communication technologies such as Smart Phones become more elaborate, people‚??s lives become more and more available for scrutinizing eyes of the world, largely due to involvement of social networking websites in different forms of communication technologies. In addition, many argue that losing a Smart Phone is, in many cases, worse than losing a wallet because countless people record all of their personal information in their portable ‚??Smart‚?Ě life-keepers. Because users surrender their bank account numbers, e-mails, passwords, birthdates and diary entries to the Smart Phones, losing such a phone can prove to be disastrous, considering that Identity Theft is one of the faster-growing crimes world-wide.
With its ‚??bads‚?Ě and its ‚??goods‚?Ě, Smart Phones reformed methods of sharing and communicating information, increasing the pace at which users interact with one another. As large companies and the media who are unquestionably dependent on different forms of communication become more familiar with mobile advancements, management of personal accounts and businesses over the cyber space becomes easier and easier.
‚??Smart‚?Ě phones exemplify having all of the knowledge at one‚??s fingertips.